Catan: Explorers & Pirates is the fourth major expansion for The Settlers of Catan (following Seafarers, Cities & Knights and Traders & Barbarians) and it includes five scenarios and three missions; some of the scenarios make use of the missions while others do not.
Players take on the role of newcomers to Catan and learn how the adventurous life in the first settlement played itself out. They explore, using a new movement mechanic, for the raw materials they need to build the settlement. Along the way, they discover useful natural products – but also encounter wild animals and are confronted with adventurous situations. Those who survive these encounters obtain the raw materials they sought as well as experience points that improve the abilities of the player’s character. Over time, then, the player becomes stronger, smarter or more charismatic and is better and better suited for the dangers of the wild.
The best master builders in the whole of Europe and Arabia want to demonstrate their skill. Employ the most suitable teams of builders and make sure that you always have enough of the right currency. Because no matter whether they are stonemasons from the north or horticulturalists from the south, they all want a proper wage and insist on their “native” currency. With their help towers can be constructed, gardens laid out, pavilions and arcades erected and seraglios and chambers built.
This is an expansion for The Settlers of Catan. Players can build shipping lanes, which are very similar to roads. Additionally, the game comes with many different water-hex-heavy variant setups. The American version (Mayfair) should only be used with the American base game, instead of the German one (Kosmos), because of matching components and for the same reason, the Kosmos German version should only be used with the German base game. Additionally, several different editions exist; 5th edition is the most recent. Editions should only be used with same edition, otherwise the purchase of adapter kit is required.
The cards are colorful depictions of beans in various descriptive poses, and the object is to make coins by planting fields (sets) of these beans and then harvesting them. To help players match their cards up, the game features extensive trading and deal making. One of the most unique features of the game is that you cannot rearrange your hand, as you need to play the cards in the order that you draw them.